Farewell

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Goodbye New Orleans. It has been a privilege to be a citizen of this great city and though my tenure here was only 3 short years, the memories will be with me forever.

We will miss you tremendously.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Innocence Lost

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm taking a break from the packing hell I currently reside in to cool off, calm my steroid ravaged stomach (I swear, the treatments are SO much worse than the ailments at this point) and rest before I begin cleaning our disgusting dust covered room. If I never EVER move again, I'll be happy. Or, how about, if I never condense from a 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bathroom house to a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment, I'll be happy.

Anyways, I'm finding this moving experience so much different than the last several I've undertaken. I was always haphazard with packing. You know, you leave the van open when you walk to and from your house. You might stop and have a conversation with someone without actually locking the door to the Penske truck.

Not anymore.

After last summer on my honeymoon and the day after Christmas I have lost so much faith in other people. I'm afraid to leave our moving van door ajar for even a moment to go grab another box. Where is there a better place to steal something than a moving van? I no longer feel okay even leaving my front door open between trips because there's just too great of a chance that someone will wander in and find all our things, so nicely packed for the taking.

My innocence, my faith in the goodness of other people, is lost.

I hate feeling this way. I hate watching every person on the street, weary of their motives. I hate knowing that on our 5 day cross country trip, each night I'm going to sleep with my ear to the wall, waiting for someone to find someway into the van. Waiting for someone to take it all over again.

Waiting for it, because I just don't believe that we'll possibly make it to California without a bought of theft.

What a sad reality this is. Knowing that people think that it's not just okay, but fun and great to steal from other people shatters my understanding of humanity. Knowing that most of the time these people are successful and not caught is disheartening.

I want, so badly, to trust people again. To have an open heart and an open mind towards those I don't know. But in this past year, so few people have given me a reason to.

My innocence has been lost, I'm searching for my trust and love of others. Maybe it's waiting for me in California.

Katie and the no good very bad (at least) two days

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dude.

So, yesterday, I had a spot on my leg that itched like freaking crazy. By 11 in the morning, it was at least the size of a golf ball. By 4 in the afternoon, a tennis ball and by 8 last night, a baseball. It had also developed a really disgusting blister on it and hurt like hell.

Considering that I have an abundant history of staph infections, I had a sneaking suspicion I knew what was going on. I also won't have very good health insurance in California until July, so I decided it would be easier to go to the ER last night, get it taken care of right away instead of spending half my Thursday at the doctor (remember this later).

So to the ER we went. It was an unremarkable trip. They agreed that it was staph, they drained it (holy crap holy crap holy crap), but just by squeezing it to death (sorry, I know), bandaged it and gave me Benadryl and 800mg of Bactrim to take then and there and a prescription to get a full course of antibiotics the next day.

We went home, I crashed like a load of bricks (ah Benadryl, I love thee) and slept until 8:30 this morning. When I woke up, something didn't feel right. It wasn't until I went to brush my teeth that I realized that what didn't feel right was my lips. And tongue. And when I looked in the mirror, I knew why. My lips looked like a clown. They were swollen and bright red. My tongue was so big I had some trouble swallowing and the insides of my lips were so swollen I now have about 200 bite wounds on them. Yum.

I was having a fierce allergic reaction, even with the Benadryl.

So, yea. That's not okay. So I called my pcp and she said to stop the Bactrim (no problemo) and come in asap. So by 9:20 I was in her office. My airway was fine, but she remarked that without the Benadryl, it would almost certainly have been an anaphylactic reaction. GREAT. She also decided she wanted to see my leg (which was bandaged) and upon seeing it, determined that it needed to be drained, AGAIN. This time, with a syringe.

Holy hell.

She got some pus out, and then it proceeded to bleed for 5 solid minutes. Through countless alcohol swabs and gauze pads. She kept telling me that it was normal and after about the 4th gauze pad she finally admitted that maybe this was a little more bleeding than she expected. YA THINK?

She told me to pick up Claritin, Zantac (did you know it has antihistamine properties? Me neither!), and gave me a prescription for Doxycycline and a 6 day pulse of steroids. She also said she'd include a prescription for Diflucan because, come on, you know that's next.

So I got to the pharmacy and no Diflucan prescription. So I called the doctor's office again, and they said to run back over there and pick it up. So I paid to park, walked in and waited. And waited and waited and waited. After 15 minutes, I asked if I could leave her a note and have her call it in, left the note and left.

As I walked to my car, I saw it. A parking ticket. I was TWO MINUTES late to my car and it was already there. 2 minutes. DUDE.

And now I have to pack all the stuff I didn't pack today, drop my cat off at the airport to be flown to the out-laws (I do not want to talk about this at all) and then go to a going away party for some friends. Before I come back home and pack some more.

The drive to California had better be better than this last week in New Orleans. Otherwise, we might never make it out of Texas alive. For reals.

(p.s. Daisy would like you to know that she has the Swine Flu. Because we're practically related and feel each others pain in real, tangible ways. For serious.)

"Gifts"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So, recently the out-laws moved Slappy's grandmother (who has severe Alzheimers) from her home in Florida to a facility (a very nice one) in Southern California near their home. In doing so, they had to sell her house and pack everything in it.

Now, a logical approach to this would involve a moving van or even a moving company. But, let's remember who we're talking about.

The out-laws decided to rent an SUV (note here also that Slappy's new car is his grandmother's, which also had to be picked up in Florida, so the car rental? mind boggling) and drive the stuff, not to California, but to our house.

So that we can move it.

At no cost to them.

And it wasn't like just a few boxes. It was like 1/3 of our spacious dining room filled with CRAP. Things that Slappy's mother called and asked us if we wanted, and even after we said no, somehow they ended up in our dining room anyways. Because no only means no when she says it.

Anyway, among the "gifts" she's giving us, is an antique planter. She prefaced our first viewing of the planter with a warning that it's kind of "different" but with a plant in it, it looked quite nice.

Um. No.

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This "planter" is easily 2.5 feet tall. Seriously. It's huge.

And a little inappropriate. Like, this lady, totally groping the other one.

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Or this naked kid eating grapes.

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I so want to have that in my house to explain the nakedness to my kids. "Oh, don't worry honey, it's antique, that makes it totally okay. And totally not the world's LARGEST eye sore."

But even better, it also breaks into two parts. I believe that one is an obvious choice for a port-o-let, and the other, a chess pawn. Whatcha think?

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But wait, there's more.

Before the stuff was packed, Slappy's mom called and asked if we had a mop (we do). She said that she was going to send us the "stick" anyway, because it is the greatest cleaning tool ever. We inquired and she explained that you just wrap a towel around the stick and clean the floors. You know, like a, oh, what's the word? Right, a MOP.

Behold, the stick of glory.

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We spent a good 20 minutes coming up with alternative uses of the stick. So far we've got hockey stick, hammer, mallet, door knocker, and many many others. After all the suggestions, a miffed mother-in-law said, "you should really keep it. You can't just get another one of those."

No, probably not. But give me ten minutes in a forest with a hammer, and I'm certain I could make one.

Nevertheless, we have to bring the hideous planter and magical stick of wonder back to California. I'm just worried that the planter might fall out of the moving van somewhere in Texas.

Moving is crazy, you never know what kind of crap might spontaneously combust...

The out-laws come for a visit.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Alright, I'm finally ready to share. I needed the week to not think at all about Lucifer, her husband and her other son, Satan, and their adventure in my life. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. But here we go anyway.

So the out-laws (Slappy's mother and father only) arrived in town on Thursday night. We met them for a nice dinner at Bayona, though it took us at least 10 minutes to park and absolutely no one was pleased with where we were, except me, because dude, I can only take so much advice before I aim my car for the closest landing space and run for my life. Dinner was blissfully uneventful and since I had work the next day, I had no parent duty until Friday night where we had a nice, and totally tolerable, dinner at Commander's Palace.

Saturday morning, we awoke at the ass crack of dawn for Tulane's graduation. The out-laws tried to convince me to drive Slappy to the Superdome early, then wait a while and pick them up, so that they wouldn't have to get up as early. Um, no. I picked them up around 8:15 and we parked and headed into the dome.

When in, I called Slappy who told me he would be sitting on the LEFT side of the stage when facing it. So I found some seats near the left side. Slappy's mother then found some she liked better. Because, of course mine were NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Anyways, ironically, Slappy was sitting on the right side of the stage, and I had to spend most of the hour and a half there hearing about how worthless it was since we weren't even near him and how much she wished she was sitting over there (guess what? You have legs, go for a walk. You won't be missed.)

After the graduation, we found Slappy and immediately headed to, and I quote, her "favorite place in New Orleans"...the Windsor Court hotel. Seriously. Of all the amazing restaurants in the city, THAT is where she wanted to eat. So that's where we went. While there, Slappy's wildly inconsiderate older brother showed up. He had been sick and wasn't eating much, but he did try to procure some alcohol anyways, because the only thing he does better than be wildly insulting is drugs and alcohol. Well, and complain. And be right all the time. He just got offered the job of a lifetime, like, the thing he's been working towards forever, and he isn't happy. But he isn't happy because he won't be near his girlfriend. The girlfriend he conveniently forgot while he was hardcore hitting on another girl who he met in the French Quarter and later had breakfast and dinner/drinks with. Nice, right?

Anyways, I left lunch early because I could. not. stand. another. minute. with his family and Slappy had to get there early. I offered to save us all seats (5 at this point) so they could come a little later. A little later was 4 minutes before the procession, nice, right? Slappy's brother slept through the entire graduation and then when it was over, hugged Slappy and went home. Slappy's parents hung out for a while and then went and changed clothes for another super nice dinner.

On Sunday we went out to lunch with Slappy's brother and then made plans for dinner with the out-laws. Slappy and I took the car to pick up his parents and his brother was to take the other car and meet us there, leaving a few minutes after us. After sitting at the restaurant for 15 minutes waiting, we called Slappy's brother who informed us that they decided to take the Streetcar instead, despite it being WAY slower and them having left not 5 minutes after us, but 15. And he thew in a nice condescending, "I hope you don't all starve to death" when we complained at his choice. Nice, right?

This dinner was the one that just about made my head explode. First, Slappy's mother decreed that the whole world should be on the same time zone. But not in any logical fashion. She believed that the United States should stay on the schedule of being awake during the light hours and asleep during the dark hours, and everyone else could just adjust to sleeping when it was light out. This was followed shortly by the inevitable discussion that everyone should just learn English because Americans are God's gift to the universe. My head explodes at the egocentrism displayed by this woman. Truly.

Eventually, the conversation shifted to childbirth where, she decided to entertain us with the story of Slappy's brother's birth, which happened at home. The apex of the conversation occurred when she described her mother-in-law's reaction to walking in on my mother-in-law, on all fours, with Slappy's brother's head out. Go ahead, try to delete that mental image. Now try to do it while EATING.

And then the conversation shifted yet again. This time, Slappy's mother decided to mention that she didn't think I would ever give birth. She went so far as to say that I would hand a knife to someone to have the baby cut out before I'd undergo the pain of childbirth.

What.
The.
Hell.

Dude. I had brain surgery with less than 24 hours of narcotics. I had boob surgery with NO narcotics. I had my tonsils taken out, at age 20, with no narcotics. I don't doubt that childbirth is wildly painful, but I'm pretty sure I'd survive. Unfortunately, I probably can't ever do it, because sneezing makes the back of my head nearly explode, I can't imagine that trying to squeeze a bowling ball out of my cooter will feel better. But that's SO not the point. I could do it. I could if I needed to. And I will if I can. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

When Monday rolled around, I woke up feeling refreshed. Slappy's brother and parents were scheduled to leave (the former in the car, the latter by plane) and soon we'd have our house back. I probably failed to mention that Slappy's brother stayed in our house. With a friend. Without asking. For several nights. Nice, right?

When I came home from work, we got ready to go out to lunch, as we had planned at dinner the night before. Of course, Slappy's brother denied being invited to said lunch, and had made plans with the girl he'd picked up in the French Quarter. So we went with just his parents. After lunch we came home, and I got ready to go to my school's graduation, only to hear Slappy's brother mention, that, oh yea, they're going to stay another night. Of course, the next day was my birthday and all I really wanted was my house and sanity back. But no.

And not only that, but they wanted to have alligator for dinner, so they asked if we would mind going to Jacques-Imo's Monday night, even though Slappy and I were going there for my birthday then next day.

Yes. Yes we would mother freaking mind.

Eventually, I fell into a deep, dark funk, we went to dinner somewhere else with Slappy's brother, went to a casino (where Slappy won $350, the bastard, and I won -$40) and I came home and crashed hard and early while Slappy stayed out with his brother (who stopped on the way home at the girl's house to get pot. Classy!).

The next day, I had work, Slappy somehow convinced his brother to leave (and defended me at a breakfast where his brother was trying to tell Slappy that I needed to change my perspective on science, because, you know, proteins and carbohydrates are totally perspective important issues...ugh) and by the time I got home from work, he was gone.

And all was right with the world again.

As the move gets closer and closer, I get more and more excited, but also more and more aware that, instead of 5 hours by plane, we're now 45 minutes by car. We're...gulp...in-law ambushable.

Hold me.

A glimpse into our lives...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

So, about a month ago, Slappy and I were changing the sheets on our bed and Slappy put our cat, Karma, into a pillowcase. For whatever reason, I decided to videotape this endeavor.

When I watched this video last week after uploading it, I could not help but share this gem with the internets. Because, not only is it a video about our cat, but it is a true glimpse into our lives.

Things you should know before watching this:
a) I am a HORRIBLE photographer. And therefore, there's like nothing to see. It's really and audio glimpse into our lives.
b) I mumble. A lot. Turn your speakers up.
c) He did hit me. But not hard.
d) At the time, everything that came out of our dryer smelled...musty. Or sweaty. And frankly, a little like balls. Which is a horrible image, I know, but it did. And hence my comment and then Slappy's signature song.
e) He's not my mother.

Enjoy!

Cat in a pillowcase...and balls from Overflowing Brain on Vimeo.

What it means to miss New Orleans

Friday, May 22, 2009

At Slappy's graduation, someone sang a song, probably one that a lot of you are familiar with called "I know what it means to miss New Orleans" and at the time I sort of laughed at the song because for a few weeks now, I really haven't thought I'd much miss it here. Truly. I'm going back home. Back to the place I want to be, or so I have long believed.

When Slappy was applying for medical school, we had only been dating a few months. I had no pull, no sway and no real say in anything in the process, and I watched from the sidelines. In the end, the choice came down to a school in New York and a school in New Orleans. Honestly, I prayed that he'd pick New York. I know that sounds crazy, but what I knew of New Orleans was dirtiness, and drinking and raucusity and other such stereotypical things.

And yet, to New Orleans he went. I had my first tripped planned to see the place on September 1st, 2005. If you'll check any history book anywhere, you'll know that I did not get to go on that trip. Just 3 measly days after Katrina, the hospital was still a hospital, the city still very much underwater. In fact, I think it was on September 1st that Slappy came home to California for a while.

And in August of 2006, after visiting twice, I moved to the Big Easy. The transition was actually much easier than I imagined. It helped that I started work almost right away and had that as a time occupier. It helped that Slappy had some friends and was my very best friend, so I was never lonely. But I was not at home either.

People in New Orleans don't watch each other when they drive like they do in California. They don't just say hello when they see you outside, and they really want to know where you're at. I was not in Kansas anymore. But in time, I grew to love it.

I love the city and its changing personalities. I love the trees that cover the neighborhood we live in and tell the story of generations before us living in these very walls. I love the street car, even if it makes our house shake sometimes and even if I've never technically ridden it, because it reminds me of far off days and of scenic histories. I love the food, oh my God I love the food. The flavors are more amazing than one can even begin to hope to put words to and it has been a travesty that in our most recent eating jaunt, my sense of taste has been not functioning well.

I love the people here. I love that the person bagging up my groceries calls me "baby" and they're not being condescending. I love that if you accidentally bump into someone, they also say excuse me, as if they weren't sure if they were at fault. I love that waiters and waitresses will sit and have a conversation with you and I love that chefs and cooks wander around their restaurants chatting left and right.

I love the profound lack of real traffic, I love the ever changing weather, I love the feeling of community I get and I love the special feeling I have when I realize that, even if for a short time, I am a New Orleanian. I am a part of this city and this city is a part of me.

And in 9 days, when Slappy and I get in our car and moving van and drive out of here, I will shed a tear and I will remember this home, this period in my life with great fondness.

And I'm pretty sure that then I'll know what it means to miss New Orleans.

Everything that's old is new again

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Even that title, I'm pretty sure.

I am going to write about the experience with the in-laws soon, but I need a few days of NOT thinking about teh crazy, so it'll have to wait until then. Today was the MRI that we scheduled last week and dude, it sucked.

First of all, I had the headache today. The one that makes me want to drive into a building. Or off a cliff. Or some other thing that's totally dramatic. It's the kind of headache that I try to medicate, even though I know it won't work because I can't sit there and do nothing. It's like a soul shattering kind of pain. And it's a real bitch when you're proctoring a 2 hour final exam.

On the one hand, it blew goats because, dude, it. hurt. a. lot. But, on the other hand, I'm going into an MRI with a heinous headache, perhaps this means that we'll get a better grasp on what's going on. I mean, if there's something that can show up on the MRI, surely when my face is tingling and my sense of taste is all but gone is a good time, right? And if nothing shows up? I guess that means I'm certifiably crazy. Either way, it's good to have medical confirmation.

So I went to the MRI at a hospital I've never been to yet (I know, practically a miracle, right?) and waited patiently. It was a new center, very sparkly and very personable. They even asked me if I'd had a good birthday (which I did!).

I got called back, gave them copies of old MRIs so they could compare and they shuttled me in. To my surprise, I finally hit the MRI jackpot and got a place that has the metal-less headphones which totally rocked. Though they did not entirely block out the sound of the machine because even a desert stampede can't stop the sounds of the tube.

The tech got me in, put the coil over my face and then gave me the panic ball. The panic ball totally messes with me. Because I'm like, dude, maybe I should be panicking. And now since I'm off the anxiety drugs, am I going to panic? Holy crap, I'm panicking. And on and on. And she reminded me that I had to be totally still or they'd have to re-do the scans. So of course all I want to do is swallow really dramatically and scratch the itch on my face and holy crap I'm dying in a tube.

And of course, the sounds of the tube do WONDERS for the headache. About halfway though I really thought I might die. And I considered how convenient it would be for my neurologist if my brain exploded two doors down from his office. He wouldn't even need to get in a car to pronounce me.

And the MRI went on. And on. And on. And on. At one point the tech came over the speaker and told me that the next scan would be loud and that I might feel like the table was moving a little. Heh. She's obviously never been inside when this happens. It was like a shiatsu chair. It didn't feel like it was moving, IT WAS MOVING. Like, giggling my body to and fro (which feels AWESOME! with a headache) and making more noise than any object on the face of the earth ever has.

Ever.

After about an hour, they pulled me out to inject the gadolinium, which was a special treat. Because the nurse/tech (not sure of her title), missed my vein. Well, okay, technically she went through my vein and oopsies, injected the gadolinium directly into my arm for a minute. Then she realized her mistake and used the needle to scramble my elbow tissue for a while before finding the vein and injecting the remaining gadolinium into my bloodstream. It wasn't long before I had the gadolinium taste in my mouth (and the totally depressing revelation that I can identify that taste easily) and I was back in the effing tube.

9 more minutes, she said. How about 15? Because something misfired on the machine in one of the scans so they had to re-do it. But, on the upside, they gave a copy of the disc on the way out so that I can obsess study them on my own.

My diagnosis, brain worm. No, seriously. Give me a better explanation or I'm calling Dr. House. (Okay, so on further inspection, it could, theoretically, be a blood vessel of some sort. I'm still betting worm though.)

My brain last September, NO WORM.
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My brain today, WORM.
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My brain before the surgery, NO WORM.
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My brain today, WORM.
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So, google experts. Diagnose me. I'll even buy you something shiny if you get it right (assuming the doctor calls me and there's anything to get right. And also, I probably won't buy you anything shiny because I totally suck at following through on bribes. It's a sickness. Probably one caused by worms.)

Turning Twenty-Six

Monday, May 18, 2009

Each year, I await my birthday with eager anticipation. I count down the days. I remind everyone around me of how much longer it is until the day! I love it. I love the celebration, the presents and, of course, the cake. I love knowing that for a short while, it's my day. And while I am very much looking forward to my birthday tomorrow, I'm coming into it with an unfamiliar feeling.

Trepidation.

I know 26 isn't old, per se, (well, it depends upon who you ask I suppose), but for the first time, I really feel old. My childhood is truly gone. My adolescence has ended and what remains is adulthood. Burdens of responsibilities, lofty dreams of next week, year, decade and a wide open future. But for whatever the reason, I just feel as though I'm already so far into my life, but haven't done much with it at all.

In August, I'll start what will hopefully be my last formal schooling. I'll be 2 to 4 years older than most students, married and in an entirely different stage of life. The vast difference between being fresh out of college and 26 years old is noticeable, and I'm worried about my ability to fit in with the other students. What if I don't make friends? What if I'm too old? What if I've lost that sense of openness that children and teenagers possess that allow them to make new friends? What if I'm simply an old dog, and new friends are my new trick?

I feel like I've gone 26 years on this earth without accomplishing much. I've lived for over 2 and a half decades, but where's the proof? What have I left behind? If something happened to me today, would anyone remember me? What for?

I know this is getting a little morbid, and I think more than anything, I'm somehow wrapping my crappy day into this post that actually has nothing to do with it. But in the end, though I'm not feeling quite myself, I am feeling thankful for this day and for the next. For the 26 years I've had on this earth with my family and friends. And I hope to see so many more tomorrows. And eat so much more cake.

Ed. note: In the light of my actual birthday, I'm pretty much exactly as happy as I have been every other year, if not even a little more. This whine was apparently more the result of 5 hours of sleep and 5 DAYS with my in-laws. But I'm leaving it up anyway. For posterity or something.

Neurological News

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thank you all for the congratulation wishes for Slappy. His graduation went off without a hitch and he was knighted hooded with the appropriate New Orleans-y pomp and circumstance (that is, with a brass band and second lining, it was great).

And now, on to an ironically appropriate update from the neurologist appointment on Friday (this is less ironic if you don't know that Slappy is beginning his residency to become a pediatric neurologist).

The neurologist was first, and foremost, not thrilled that I'm having headaches every day. Apparently this is not something that is generally considered medically acceptable. Who knew? So once the pharmacy orders it, I'll be starting a new drug called Lyrica, that should act a lot like the benign, but ultimately unsuccessful, drug Neurontin, that I took in the winter.

He did some tests of my cranial nerves and some sensation tests for my face. There's a patch from the midline of my chin to half way out to my ear below my lip (on the right side) that has virtually no sensation. We also discovered that my gums in the same area are also without sensation right now (which I didn't know going in).

He's concerned and was more so when I told him that I'm also having some trouble tasting some foods, and especially soda for whatever reason. I'm off all medications, so it's not a side effect of something else, it's rather worrisome.

He got on the phone with the adjacent hospital and got their earliest non-trauma MRI appointment for Wednesday and they're going to do an MRI with and without contrast to see if there's anything impinging on my trigmenial nerve. He gave me an official diagnosis of Right Z3 Trigeminal Neuropathy. Which translates to, your chin, on the right side, tingles and goes numb. It's caused by something squeezing the fifth cranial nerve, which exits the brain near where the compression in my brain has always been.

I made the (frequent and grave) mistake of googling this and found this list of possible causes: multiple sclerosis, infarct, glioma (tumor), neurovascular conflict, acoustic and trigeminal schwannoma (brain lesion), meningioma (tumor), epidermoid cyst, metastasis, pituitary adenoma (tumor), carotid artery aneurysm, squamous cell carcinoma, lymphoma.

So, yea. That's pretty great and stuff. I feel so relieved. NOT.

But at least I have a standby doctor in the house now. I don't know if he accepts my insurance so I might have to pay him in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which, when you get right down to it is much better than over 8,000 dollars in health bills in a year. So there's a win. Or something.

4 long years

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tomorrow afternoon, I will be married to a doctor.

That is, tomorrow, my husband will be "hooded", will walk across the stand and will hence forth be Slappy, M.D.

Be impressed.

No seriously, be impressed.

I'm calling all visitors, anonymous or frequent commenters, I need you all to give the man a round of applause (and by round of applause I mean nice comment). These have been some of the most challenging years of both of our lives and this graduation is HUGE moment. Tomorrow, Slappy gets to see one of his dreams come to life, tomorrow his hard work is finally celebrated.

My very own doctor. The irony is never ending.

Congratulations honey. I love you and am SO proud of you.

-My face. MY FACE. Dude the tingling. It's so bad. It's so effing obnoxious. My neurologist appointment is for 12:15 tomorrow, though the receptionist called to confirm and tried to tell me it was at 2:15, so then she looked it up and said, "12:15, just like I told you." Riiiiiight.

-My head. Holy hell.

-We got the cat a collar because with the move coming up we wanted to make sure that if she got out again, she had a collar with our phone number on it. Well, she's not really so much a fan. Actually, it's not the feeling of it around her neck that seems to bother her, it's the fact that it jingles a little bit. When she first heard this noise, she kept trying to back away in hopes of leaving the jingle behind, but really all she did was back up all the way around a room, which was hilarious. And then she would only take really teeny tiny steps because that wouldn't elicit the jingle, but as soon as she took one too big and it jingled, she'd move that paw back a step, like, you know, maybe it's that floorboard making the noise. And now she just keeps trying to lick it off, which is a pretty good strategy. The last time we put a collar on her was Christmas morning and within 10 minutes she'd licked it into her mouth and was running around wildly with her collar stuck (not breaking away as it was supposed to) in her mouth. We haven't tried since then, but so far, so freaking funny.

-7 more days of students. 10 more days of work. HALLELUJAH.

-17 days until we move out of this damned house and into our brand spanking new apartment.

-Speaking of brand new apartment, I don't think I've told you about it. It's actually not even finished being built yet, but it is supposed to be finished this weekend. We'll be the first people to ever live in it, and it's GORGEOUS. And a little expensive, but you know, most good things in life are.

-Between now and Monday we'll be eating at Bayona, Commander's Palace, Gautreau's, and Dante's Kitchen. It it wasn't for Satan the company involved, it would be really really lovely.

-I really like Dutch mints. They are like mint m&ms, but are available ALL YEAR. You hear that m&ms? ALL YEAR.

-I really do not like strawberry peanut butter m&ms. It does not taste like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, it tastes like ass. Or something like that.

-I have a hole in my shirt. And it's only the second time I've worn it.

-I'm out of random things to share with you. And the Wicked Witch of the West is officially in the city.

It's Official...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

today was an holiday in New Orleans. Today was Be A Giant Douche Jerk Day.

Seriously.

I nearly killed at least 2 jackass jaywalkers because heaven forbid if a car is travelling toward you you should HUSTLE a little.

And let's not forget the bike rider who ran a stop sign and who I had to stomp on my breaks not to hit. Does he slow down or even try to get out of the way? Of course not. He waved his hand like it didn't take half of my break pads and a small act of God not to run his ass into the asphalt. Which, truly, would've been a little satisfying.

And then when I got home from the gym, I found this...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In case you can't tell, the distance between that jackass' front license plate and my bumper is precisely the same as the amount of patience I have for stupid people today.

Nil. Zip. Zero. Abso-freaking-lutely none.

Turbulent Tuesday: The Completely Random Edition

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's Tuesday! Ahem. I mean, it's Tuesday...

So, to start the day, I got ready, was only running 5 minutes late (which is about 10 minutes less than usual) got out the front door and to my car before I realized that I had Slappy's keys. I got in the car, assuming he could just use mine and started to drive off when I noticed that I had BOTH sets of keys. So, I parked the car, ran upstairs and dropped the keys off with a sleeping Slappy.

I got back out to my car and started it. Just as I was getting ready to pull out, the garbage truck pulled in front of me. The SLOW garbage truck. And of course, I had my air conditioning set to send in "outside" air, and by the time I realized this and went to change it, my entire car smelled like garbage. Which is really ironic since I had just thrown out my car garbage bag into the very trashcan that was being emptied into the garbage truck.

And truth be told, the garbage smell is only slightly more offensive than the apparently permanent smell of cinnamon scented cat foot (cat food from Gustav evacuation when it spilled ALL over my trunk, cinnamon from the air freshener I tried to use to cover it up. Mark this one under FAIL).

Then I got to work, where I had to track down a teacher who had a paper I needed like last week, but who informed me that she didn't give it to me because my classroom is "so far away." Dude. Then I taught all day.

Which was kind of a feat because I'm feeling fairly lousy. I'm finally coming to the end of my Xanax taper and am now alternating taking 1/4 of a dose and none each night and subsequently on days like today, in which I have no Xanax in my system, I feel like crap. My headache is worse (and different), I'm nauseated, and just generally feel badly. It's especially difficult because the taper has been going so well and I so want to be done with this drug, but right now the side effects of discontinuing it are worse than staying on it and it's hard to convince myself to plow ever forward. It's going to get better right? RIGHT?

I also still have the mother effing face tingling. It's literally like when you have pins and needles, only it's in my face, only the right side of my face. It's not constant, but it's frequent enough to be extremely obnoxious. I'm going to the neurologist on Friday, though I need to remember not to say anything about it because Slappy's parents will be here on Friday and they think that a) I'm a hypochondraic and b) having brain surgery was, and I quote, "the worst idea ever." So, brain talk cannot happen while they're around. But that's okay because the massive quantities of ranting that will happen will make up for it.

I also stopped by Tulane to get my medical records and I think the lady misunderstood me and made copies of EVERY MRI I've ever had there, which is not a bad thing, but it's a really really really really slow thing.

And finally, as a sort of reward for getting through the majority of the day, I checked my online transcript and found that all my grades are in. And they're all A's. I'm so incredibly excited, I almost changed the name of this post to Triumphant Tuesday, but you know, that would ALMOST classify this as not whining. And I surely don't believe in that.

So your turn. How was your Tuesday? Trippy? Traumatizing? Tantalizing? Tell me all about it (in the comments!)

Destin-ation Flori-cation

Monday, May 11, 2009

On Friday afternoon, Slappy and I departed for the beautiful white sand shores of Florida. We stopped and had dinner at Cracker Barrel (which is seriously one of my favorite restaurants, by the way) and got in to our hotel (which was of the utmost quality at 68 dollars a night) around 9. We lounged and crashed for the evening.

On Saturday, we went to the beach. Now, I LOVE with great passion, the beach. I love the sounds, the smells the entire experience. I love love love it.

My husband? Does not so much. He likes the ocean, he does not like the sun. And with great reason because the sun hates him something fierce.

So we had a quick fried seafood lunch, sunscreened ourselves and enjoyed the sun.

Later we went in the water, where a swimmer informed us that there were stingrays jumping in and out of the water. And then I died. But we stayed in the water any way. We also saw what I firmly believe was a baracuda, but what some other swimmer said was some normal fish thing. Whatever, it was ginormous and I'm pretty sure it had fangs. The rest of the beach saw my entire ass because my bathing suit bottoms are a little big and even more so when they're wet. It's like the Coppertone kid, only SO much less cute with my nearly 26 year old ass.

All told we were in the water for around an hour, and then I went and spent a little more time in the sun while Slappy sat in the shade (well, as it turned out, he sat with his body in the shade and arms in the sun because his hand ended up totally sunburned). We stayed a little while longer and then headed back to our craphole hotel.

By the time we got to dinner both Slappy and I were both showing signs of a sunburn despite our best sunscreening efforts. Apparently when Slappy sprayed down my back with sunscreen, he went side to side without quite covering my whole back, so I have a big Z shaped sunburn. It's cute.

We had a great (seafood!) dinner and then saw Star Trek, which was much better than I anticipated it being. Though, truth be told, I didn't expect it to even be tolerable because I mega-loathe science fiction, so really, it wouldn't have taken much.

Sunday we went to a water park, and much to our dismay, we ran out of sunscreen. Can you think of a better place to run out of sunscreen? I mean, usually you have to pay like 20 bucks for a 6 dollar bottle you could've gotten at the drug store. But yesterday? Yesterday we found a water park that did not sell sunscreen. Seriously. That has got to be the most oblivious money losing scheme ever. I mean really.

All said and done, it was a fantastically wonderfully relaxing weekend. One I needed really really badly. I'll miss being a short drive from Florida, but will love being within an hour of a beach any day of the week. (ZOMG we're moving in 20 days!)

To make sure we were officially finished with vacation, the first thing I did upon arriving at our house was trip running up the brick stairs, carrying a heavy backpack and scraped/bruised the ever living crap out of both of my legs. And arms. And hands.

Because I just wanted to draw a big line between vacation a life. You know, where vacation is relaxing and real life is constantly hurting myself in any way possible.

Moms

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I've lived away from "home" now for about 8 years. For the first five, I was a short car ride from my family, and I never missed a holiday. For the past three, I've been a long plane ride from them, and it has been difficult because on days like today, Mother's Day, I can't be there to celebrate with my family. To celebrate my mother as she should be.

I don't think it's an overstatement at all to say that I am the person I am, because of the woman who raised me.

I lived alone with my mom for 3 years after my dad left her, and she became something more than just a mom to me. She was my best friend, my confidant, and my inspiration.

My mom gave up her house for my sister to go to college. This meant moving back in with her parents to save up money, a move that was humbling and difficult, to say the very least.

She gave up a serious relationship to spend more time with me.

She took time off work each week to eat dinner and watch Friends with me, even though it meant staying up later that night to get everything done.

She devoted her life to us and has been there everytime we've stumbled, and every time we've called.

Growing up, I never had a curfew and I was never grounded, but it wasn't because my mom was too soft or because I was perfect (okay, so I was sort of perfect). But rather because my mother instilled in me values that guided my way.

I struggled through my freshman year of college, but I went back for another 3 years, including a semester studying abroad, because my mother taught me to never, ever, give up.

I found a boy I wanted to spend my life with and I followed him 2000 miles across the country. Because I loved him. And my mother believed and taught me that love was one of life's greatest gifts.

I had brain and boob surgery, because I needed to. And I rebounded and moved on with my life (even if with a little lot of whining), even with the constant string of complications. Because my mother taught me to have faith in God's plan for me.

I am now gearing up to start my first year in graduate school because my mother told me that I could be anything in the world I wanted to be, regardless of the cost or challenge. And though now she keeps reminding me that I should probably decide, for good, what it is I want to do so I can be fully educated and give her some grandchildren, she has supported my every step in the application process.

My mother isn't perfect, and neither am I. But I hope that someday I can give my children the gifts she has given me. The gifts of strength, of courage of conviction, of passion and of love. I hope that someday, I will be half the amazing role model, friend and mother that she was for me.

Happy Mother's Day Mom. I love you.

All work and no play makes Katie a dull girl effing crazy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

So, I may or may not have mentioned that these past few weeks have been all different kinds of stressfully crazy, but as of tonight, it's all over. I took my last test tonight, I'm done with this crappy sub-par school and onto a bigger and infinitely better one. I'm more happy over this than I can put into words. I'm done with going to school from 7-10 Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 4-10 on Tuesdays with my side helping of an online class. It was too much, but I made it, I crossed the finish line and I think I stand a good chance at walking away with a 4.0 in spite of overloading myself.

To celebrate this accomplishment and Slappy's upcoming commencement, we're going to Florida for the weekend, just the two of us, the sun and some quiet relaxing time. Really, I can't even put into words how much I'm looking forward to seeing the ocean gulf, listening to waves crash and having someone else cook and clean up after me. No tests, no papers to grade, no lesson plans, no responsibility.

I'm sure I'll check in at some point because we don't really do the whole unplugged thing, but if you don't hear from me for a ew days, understand that I'm in Florida, in search of my sanity and enjoying the hell out of the hunt.

Not Friday

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

That about sums up today, it's not Friday and as such, I'm having an impossible time finding a redeeming quality about the day.

So, before each unit test for 3 of my 5 classes, I play a review game using a powerpoint program that works like Jeopardy. Sometimes there's a slight lag and if you're watching really carefully, you can catch the right answer. And since it's done on a timer, the first team to get the answer right gets the point. Silly me, I thought that the opportunity to see the answer, and then cheat, was too small, or that if it was noticeable, someone would tell me.

Instead, this morning I discovered that all 3 of these classes are cheating to get the bonus points offered for being the winning team. These are the only bonus points I give out and they're cheating to get them, not learning, cheating. And these games take me easily an hour a piece to put together, and it's all for them, I get nothing out of it. And not only are they cheating, but once they figured out how to cheat, they told others, so instead of one small group of people, it's at least 20 kids.

I'm just disappointed. I thought better of them and I foolishly trusted them. I know it's not like cheating on a test, but it's cheating on something that I spent a lot of time on, something that was meant to be fun and useful for studying. And that's really upsetting.

To make matters worse, I talked with some of the other teachers about it at lunch, expecting some sort of sentiment of sympathy and instead I was told that it was my fault and that I had no right to be upset about it. Furthermore, I shouldn't talk to the kids about it, I should just go on like normal. One of them told me I was "being ridiculous." And yea, maybe it's not the end of the world, but it's big to me and I think I get to decide when I am and am not allowed to be upset about something. 20 of my students breeching my trust is a big deal. Maybe not to them, but to me it is.

And I just couldn't shake that conversation. I was upset about the cheating and then I was upset about the teachers, who are really some of my good friends. I was nearly in tears by the end of lunch and excused myself early to try and calm down before the next class.

I also have had a wicked headache since, um, Sunday and now today I have a 2 spots on my face, one just below the right side of my lips and one just above, that are tingling all. the. time. Like pins and needles, only ON MY FACE.

And I just want to lie in a small hole and cry myself to sleep, but, oh right! I have another fucking test tomorrow. Yes it's the last one, but it's also the biggest one, and it's also the one I've done the least amount of work for because 6 tests in 9 days is way too effing many.

I'm just ready for this week to die. To die a horrible, painful death. Instead, it has 2 more days which will involve studying, avoiding co-workers, stern lectures to students and, unless this face thing stops tonight, a call to the neurologist.

Someone stop this week, I want the hell off.

Turbulent Tuesday: The Irony Edition

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

So, much of this actually happened on Monday, but since it's still affecting (effecting? Seriously, how old will I be when I learn that?) my life today, I'm counting it.

Last night, Slappy and I went to the gym. In retrospect it was a pretty lousy idea, since I'd had a headache since Sunday night, but I wanted the exercise. And then the exercise made my head about 30 times worse, so we left before beginning a 3rd, tie-breaking game, of racquetball.

When we got home, Slappy asked me to grab him a pudding while I was in the fridge area. Only, the pudding got stuck, so I sat down in front of the fridge, under the open freezer.

Yea. I know. Smmmmmmart.

About 20 seconds later, I hear crashes and feel pain. As it turns out, while I was sitting on the floor, two of the icepacks, which have frozen into 40 pound bricks with extremely pointy edges, fell out of the fridge. And onto my head. Both of them, beautiful bullseyes on their targets.

And I'll admit it. I cried sobbed, unconsolably for a few minutes, because DUDE, that hurt.

And then I reached up and felt the ridiculously instantaneous goose-egg on my head, which was not just painful, but actually noticeable with my hair pulled into a pony tail. That's how big it was. My ear also took a beating and within ten minutes turned a beautiful blue color.

The great irony here is that I had opened the freezer in the first place, TO GET ICE PACKS. For my HEAD. I know, sometimes the irony is almost too much. I got hit on the head with ice packs, while trying to get some ice packs for my head. Oh universe, you're just so funny.

I also had the distinct pleasure of, for the first time ever, being awakened by a headache in the middle of the night. I would imagine it had something to do with the flying icepacks, but honestly, I laid in bed for a few minutes wondering if I should go to a hospital. I woke Slappy, he said mumble mumble mumble that I should be fine and told me to go back to sleep. So I took more tylenol than any of you will approve of and went back to bed.

It was better in the morning, but today has been far from comfortable in terms of head pain.

I also had to write an entire exam for a course that I only teach 2 sections of, while the other 4 teachers who teach 5 sections of the course twiddled their thumbs in wait. Not to mention that I had to write a completely different exam last week for my other classes (and they're wildly different. Like teaching home ec and physics...). So today has been draining, among many other things.

And I was totally going to tack something on here like, today has been draining, but the weekend is almost here, and then I realized that FAIL the weekend is still 3 full work days away. I mega-loathe Tuesdays.

So, comments have be SPARCE around here. It's your turn, give me something, anything. How was your Tuesday? We don't discriminate, we like good and bad Tuesdays. We just might hate you a little inside for the good ones. (Kidding!....Kind of...)

The Chronicles of Irony, Chapter 10,004: Bills

Monday, May 4, 2009

Okay, so way back in the fall when my stupid former neurologist decided that all my headaches could be explained by sinus congestion that had existed for more than 10 years, I had to go see an ear, nose and throat doctor to convince her that she was wrong. At the last appointment I had with the ENT, he shoved a tube with a camera up my nose while I was in the office and sent me on my merry way (because ironically, I was not interested in sinus surgery).

In February I got a bill for 200 bucks for that damned scope. The damned scope that I didn't want in the first place. I put off paying it because sometimes my insurance will catch things late, but they never did, so I finally ponied up the dough charged it about a month ago.

Then I received a letter in the mail on Friday from my insurance company. The letter said that my doctor had filed a petition with my insurance company, over a claim and this was my notice that they had rejected the claim. Apparently my doctor did not get pre-authorization for the damned scope, and so I'm consequently responsible for my 500 dollar outpatient surgery deductible.

So, let me just get this straight. Because my doctor did not get pre-authorization for what I did not even know was a billable procedure, I have to pay 500 dollars.

Because someone else did not do something they were supposed to do, I have to pay.

Um, no.

So on Wednesday I have to march down to the billing department at the hospital where the doctor's office is and get this taken care of because dude, I do not have 500 bucks to give to these people. I don't have 500 bucks to give to anyone in the universe right now. And especially not for a nasal scope I DIDN'T WANT OR NEED.

Isn't it amazing how I'm being charged for surgery when I had this scope to decide that I didn't, in fact, want to have surgery? Or that while this whole ENT thing was going on (and also right now) I'd have killed to have a doctor run useful test to figure out what the hell is wrong with my head, but instead we ran a totally unhelpful one that I have to pay for.

I could go on and on.

But instead, I'm going to put on my big girl panties and deal with it. But not right now. Because why do today what you can put off for tomorrow? Or Wednesday?

Commencement

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Graduation season is upon us. 2 weeks from today, my husband will be hooded, which, every time I say it totally makes me want to say "knighted" instead because they're like totally the same thing. Only one involves a sword and the other involves an old dude putting a piece of colored fabric over your neck. But really, they're practically one and the same.

But graduation season would not be complete without the telling of one of my more embarrassing life moments. And also? Until I publish this post, I have 666 blog posts. And I generally don't like to associate my blog with Satan. You know, unless we're talking about Slappy's mom. BURN.

Back in May, 2005 I was preparing to graduate from college. I had broken my right foot in 3 places in March and by May it was determined that the boot was totally ineffective and a cast was necessary (side note: I was still in a cast in January of 2006. It was great.). So I got to walk at my graduation with a bright blue fiberglass cast. Which also smelled really great, in case you wondered.

It just so happens that it is WARM in California in mid-May and of course, at my college, we graduate in heavy BLACK robes. Outside. And of course all the guest seating is shaded by majestic bendy trees but not one single square inch of the graduate seating area has a hint of shade. And since the graduation took place in an amphitheater, you can also cancel any wind to cool things down.

Basically what I'm getting at is that it was hotter than the hinges of hell.

So, knowing that I was going to be wearing a black bathrobe and a heavy hot cast in the sun, I went out and bought myself a small battery operated fan to keep cool with. It was a little noisy, so I only turned it on when people clapped or there was significant noise. But that was enough to keep me cool enough to maintain consciousness throughout the ceremony.

(Side note #300: I have no memory at all of who our graduation speaker was. Which is entirely because it was absolutely no one important, even though Barack Obama went to my college. Dude, someone dropped the commencement speaker ball there.)

Anyways, I left the fan on continuously as each row got up to walk across the stage because noise was not a factor and it was taking a lifetime. So when my row stood up, I still had the fan running. As I bent down to put it under the seat, I heard a terrible noise and felt a tug.

The fan was stuck in my hair.

A huge chunk of the front of my hair was wrapped around the spinning mechanism. Like, a big enough chunk of hair that when I let go of the fan, it just hung in front of my face in all its hot pink glory.

I panicked. I knew that my mother would never forgive me if I walked across the stage and had my picture taken with the Dean with a hot pink fan stuck in my hair, so I did the only thing I could do.

I ripped all the hair out.

So much hair I couldn't rip it all in one fell swoop, it took two, maybe three separate jerks to rip it all out.

Then I threw the fan down and ran hobbled to catch up to graduate.

I had genuinely believed that no one had really noticed what had happened since, even though it felt like a lifetime, the entire episode lasted all of 30 seconds. That was until one of my friends came up to me after graduation and told me that her mom wanted to remind me next time to pull my hair back if I was going to fan my neck. And that I had left my fan, and half my head of hair in the amphitheater when we walked out.

I never went back to get the fan. Instead, I combed my hair over my new bald spot and drank a lot. Because that's what graduations are really all about- the fact that no matter how educated you get, you'll still always have the ability to be a dumbass.

Put your hands together

Friday, May 1, 2009

Today, my husband finished Medical School.

Give the man a hand. It's been a loooooooooooooong 4 years.